#1
Hey guys.

I've been playing for around a year now. I've noticed that lately my playing has become messy. I'll hit a lot of bad notes, bend out of tune, sometimes even pick the wrongs strings.

I've tried slowing down, it hasn't done too much.

I've found my guitars neck to be too big for my hands also. Excuses aside, would a new guitar help?
I've practiced scales up and down the neck, I've done a lot to try and help myself. But I just wont improve.

What do you guys recommend?
Signatures are overrated.
#2
You just haven't adjusted to your guitar yet. There's no need for you to buy a new one just because yours makes you a tad uncomfortable. For a new player, it can take ages before you ever become comfortable with a guitar in your hands. It took me about 2 years before I was remotely comfortable playing a scale up and down.

As for sloppy picking, just keep lowering the speed until you can play it cleanly, even if it's rediculously slow. That's the only way that you are going to make any real progress. For sloppy bending, you just have to keep practicing it; even try to add some vibrato to your bends if you want!
"It is always advisable to be a loser if you cannot become a winner." - Frank Zappa

The name's Garrett.

Gear and stuff:
Taylor 310
American Strat w/ Texas Specials
Ibanez JS1000
Vox Wah (true bypass & LED mod)
Dr. Z Maz 18 JR NR
#3
Well, I've had this guitar since January of this year.
I think I'm used to it now, but I have little pussy hands. It's hard to go past the 12th fret without making a mistake.
Signatures are overrated.
#4
Hey, you aren't the only one with small hands. Ever seen Shawn Lane? He didn't have any Buckethead sized hands, but he could shred like the devil.
"It is always advisable to be a loser if you cannot become a winner." - Frank Zappa

The name's Garrett.

Gear and stuff:
Taylor 310
American Strat w/ Texas Specials
Ibanez JS1000
Vox Wah (true bypass & LED mod)
Dr. Z Maz 18 JR NR
#5
Clean playing is a challenge for all guitar players most kids who say 'oh yeah i can play all of stairway easy' and list hard songs they can play but when you listen its a sloppy pile of crap it takes a long time to get things clean after 5 years i can now play easy solos perfectly clean (well whats perfect?) and am happy with this, advanced ones i can play but i still mess them. Constant improvements half the fun just keep at it.
#6
Yeah. I'm not really one to say I can play a song perfectly. Honestly, I'm the complete opposite.

The only thing I'm happy about with my playing is my finger picking. I've practiced that since I started and I find it easy now on most songs. As for the other stuff, it's sub par.
Signatures are overrated.
#7
Quote by Moe.
Hey guys.

I've been playing for around a year now. I've noticed that lately my playing has become messy. I'll hit a lot of bad notes, bend out of tune, sometimes even pick the wrongs strings.

I've tried slowing down, it hasn't done too much.

I've found my guitars neck to be too big for my hands also. Excuses aside, would a new guitar help?
I've practiced scales up and down the neck, I've done a lot to try and help myself. But I just wont improve.

What do you guys recommend?


Sometimes you hit a wall man. Your fingers are three feet thick, your ear can't tell the difference between your phone and your dishwasher, and the closest you can come to a rhythmic feel is your dog humping your leg.

Keep doing daily maintenance work, but back off on other technique exercises for a bit. Work on ear training and transcribing, but mainly, lay back a bit. Be patient. This happens, and if you keep playing for many years you will have to live through a lot of dry periods. The good news is that if you keep playing they end, and when they end it is usually like a rain in the desert, after a long dry spell. Flowers pop up in short order.

You're overtrained right now. You just need to be patient. You'll make progress again in a while if you keep playing, but it's best to avoid really hardcore practice when you are feeling like this. Limit it to an hour a day for now, 2 if you were practicing more than 5 before. Give it a couple weeks, or a month if you are reallyworn out. You might be surprised to find that you have a sudden jump in skill once you feel fresh again. That's how this works man.
#8
Quote by mezzopiano
Sometimes you hit a wall man. Your fingers are three feet thick, your ear can't tell the difference between your phone and your dishwasher, and the closest you can come to a rhythmic feel is your dog humping your leg.

Keep doing daily maintenance work, but back off on other technique exercises for a bit. Work on ear training and transcribing, but mainly, lay back a bit. Be patient. This happens, and if you keep playing for many years you will have to live through a lot of dry periods. The good news is that if you keep playing they end, and when they end it is usually like a rain in the desert, after a long dry spell. Flowers pop up in short order.

You're overtrained right now. You just need to be patient. You'll make progress again in a while if you keep playing, but it's best to avoid really hardcore practice when you are feeling like this. Limit it to an hour a day for now, 2 if you were practicing more than 5 before. Give it a couple weeks, or a month if you are reallyworn out. You might be surprised to find that you have a sudden jump in skill once you feel fresh again. That's how this works man.


Thanks man.
Signatures are overrated.
#9
This is a result of poor practice technique. Before you think I am insulting you let me assure you that I am not and that I just want to help. If you are playing messy its because you skipped tempo to speeds that you havent trained yourself for. You maybe memorized things but didnt spend time at slow speed letting your hands memorize the motions with good technique.

If you want to clean yourself up heres what to do. Pick what you want to practice and play in time at a tempo that you can play perfectly clean. Concentrate on the little details of your technique like keeping you hand close to the fretboard and keeping loose and relaxed and most importantly have patience. Even if you have to play at 40 bpm do it. Then when you can play the piece/riff/lick/solo whatever at this speed perfectly nice and relaxed increase your speed up a small amount and repeat. If you do this i guarantee you will see huge improvments. The key to playing clean is practicing well. Its not how much time you hold a guitar its how much time you focus on practicing well. Playing sloppy for over 2 hours is only going to teach you to play sloppy.

Dont feel bad about it thought just try this out for a few weeks. I know you said you tried playing slow but you havent slowed down enough or spent enough time this is the answer no doubt about it. Your guitar neck is not the reason either so if you want to get another its up to you but you CAN play on that one. Tell yourself that because its true.
#10
as someone also said, just slow it down until you can play cleanly, even if you just have to pick 1 note at a time out of time, do it until you can accurately hit the notes. i've read that for every mistake you make playing guitar you have to play something correctly 10 times to fix it. thats a lot of correction when you think about it.

also for fretting hand accuracy, is it hard to press your strings down? if so that might be an issue. i had a horrible time when i first got my acoustic, then i went and adjusted the string height until it was comfortable and wasn't painful
#11
i have a problem with clean playing, ill post here instead of starting new thread.
so while my bends are perfectly in tune, the string adjacent to the bent string will often ring out, but very quietly. should i just fix this through VERY slight palm muting? or i could put a finger down lightly on the string.
Quote by Zero-Hartman
The Bible is awesome. Revelation is so badass, I mean, dragons and angels and the devil having an epic battle in the clouds? Badass.
#12
either one's good but i'd recommend using your index finger to slightly touch the adjacent string. practice it slowly and over and over.
#13
Quote by z4twenny
as someone also said, just slow it down until you can play cleanly, even if you just have to pick 1 note at a time out of time, do it until you can accurately hit the notes. i've read that for every mistake you make playing guitar you have to play something correctly 10 times to fix it. thats a lot of correction when you think about it.

also for fretting hand accuracy, is it hard to press your strings down? if so that might be an issue. i had a horrible time when i first got my acoustic, then i went and adjusted the string height until it was comfortable and wasn't painful



Nah, I find it easy to push down on the strings to be honest.

Quote by /-\liceNChains
This is a result of poor practice technique. Before you think I am insulting you let me assure you that I am not and that I just want to help. If you are playing messy its because you skipped tempo to speeds that you havent trained yourself for. You maybe memorized things but didnt spend time at slow speed letting your hands memorize the motions with good technique.

If you want to clean yourself up heres what to do. Pick what you want to practice and play in time at a tempo that you can play perfectly clean. Concentrate on the little details of your technique like keeping you hand close to the fretboard and keeping loose and relaxed and most importantly have patience. Even if you have to play at 40 bpm do it. Then when you can play the piece/riff/lick/solo whatever at this speed perfectly nice and relaxed increase your speed up a small amount and repeat. If you do this i guarantee you will see huge improvments. The key to playing clean is practicing well. Its not how much time you hold a guitar its how much time you focus on practicing well. Playing sloppy for over 2 hours is only going to teach you to play sloppy.

Dont feel bad about it thought just try this out for a few weeks. I know you said you tried playing slow but you havent slowed down enough or spent enough time this is the answer no doubt about it. Your guitar neck is not the reason either so if you want to get another its up to you but you CAN play on that one. Tell yourself that because its true.


Thanks for the advice man.
Signatures are overrated.
#14
Yeah, regarding practice check my 1st lesson. If you've slowed down and it hasn't done much, you need to slower downer and practicer morer.

That said, if you aren't having fun, just do what mezzo said.
#15
A break always helps if you're feeling stagnant.

A huge part of learning to play well and clean is mentally shifting your focus. What do I mean? Ok, a lot of people get into racing the metronome. You play a lick at lets say 160bpm, and you think to yourself "awesome, I could only play that at 150 a couple of weeks ago". Or you play a really hard lick, and say "great, I couldn't play that a while ago". Those are still good goals, but if you want to play clean then your main goal has to be play clean. Example, take a lick, slow it down to a speed where you can play it clean and do so. Pay really close attention to every note that you play. Are you absolutely happy with how every note sounded? Don't let anything by. Set goals like being able to execute a lick 10 or 15 times in a row with no mistakes at all. You'd be surprised at how hard it is to nail even simple licks with that amount of consistency. Once you can do that, you can start very slowly bumping the speed, but the goals always got to be quality first, and speed second.

If you make this mental shift in defining what is most important, your playing will improve drastically over (not that much) time.
#16
Too true to the break thing. ^

I think I need to take a break as well, as my wrist is aching.
Signatures are overrated.